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Mom-to-be gets surprise, contactless baby shower after coronavirus cancels original celebration

Jenaye Blackmon is two weeks away from delivering her first child. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, she had to cancel her shower.

GERMANTOWN, Md. — What do you do when the pandemic cancels your baby shower? How can you bring people together, celebrate the mom-to-be, and keep everyone safe?

Call it a contactless baby shower.

Jenaye Blackmon is now two weeks away from delivering her first child. She had no choice but to cancel her celebration as soon as Maryland’s stay-at-home order took effect.

“This is such a life moment, but my family didn’t want me to miss out,” Blackmon said in an interview Tuesday. “So, they surprised me with this unconventional shower. That put the icing on the cake.”

Blackmon’s family waited for her to leave. When the coast was clear, they put up a tent, tied up balloons, stacked up the gifts, taped on the signs and waited.

They hid in their cars. Then they spotted her, coming back from Target.

That’s when the crescendo of car horns made the 26-year-old spin into a double take. Her sister captured it all on cell phone video.

“It’s a surprise!” Larissa Dennis, Blackmon’s oldest sister, yelled above the laughs and cheers.

The guests stayed at a safe distance, masks were worn, and the baby shower went on. The effort took eight siblings to plan, after the pandemic canceled the original celebration.

“It just shows that even in this dark time, there are families and people out there whose spirits won’t be held back by this virus,” Blackmon said. “We just need to be there for each other, and I can’t tell you how lucky I feel in this moment.”

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